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Spain’s growth beats its EZ larger peers in the 2Q

MADRID | The Corner | Spain’s GDP expanded by 0.6% in the 2Q of 2014 over the previous quarter, the fastest pace in the Eurozone after Latvia’s growth (+1%). With Portugal (+0.6%) and Netherlands (+0.5%), Spain becomes one of the best economic performers in the eurozone during this quarter. Moreover, according to the figures published today by Eurostat, the Euro area has stalled in the 2Q, especially as a result of the contraction of Germany, the Italian fall into recession and France’s stagnation. Meanwhile, the Greek economy contracted by 0.2%, the lowest drop since 3Q 2008 and it could show that the country is meeting its full year growth target of 0.6% for 2014.


EZ manufacturing sector expands in July, but France continues deteriorating

BERLIN | By Alberto Lozano | Despite of the growing concerns following the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine towards the end of the month, the EZ manufacturing PMI index remains expanding in July (51.8), according to Markit data published today. Netherlands (53.5), Germany (52.4) and Austria (50.9) saw an acceleration of the growth, while Greece (48.7) continues depressed and France (47.8) keeps being the “Europe’s sick man” and the main brake to the European growth. With the worst figure in Europe, the French manufacturing sector even contracted in July at the fastest rate since December. Meanwhile Ireland (55.4), followed by Spain (53.9), registered again the sharpest rate of growth, supporting the eurozone manufacturing recovery.

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Industrial Production: Will there actually be an acceleration in 2S14?

MADRID | The Corner | After France and Italy’s (second and third most important countries in the single currency bloc) poor industrial production data of -1.9% (vs previous -0.51%) and +1.4% (vs previous +0.2) respectively, expert at Barclays Alberto Vigil wonders why analysts are so sure that there will be an acceleration in the 2S14.

*The green line is the Eurozone’s GDP, whereas the other two are Italy’s and France’s industrial production.

No matter what, non-residents bet on French debt

MADRID | The Corner | While  markets are expressing their concerns about the French economy, institutional investors seem quite comfortable about the Hexagone’s situation: the debt share of non-residents is 57.3 %, according to Eurostat. Finland and Latvia are the top choices with 81.6 % and 80.0 % of their debt owned by non-residents. Check the graph above.

EU’s problem is not in Germany but in France

MADRID | The Corner | The rise of the far-right Front National will harm more the European project than any economic recipe imposed from Berlin. In the end, Germany is indeed setting hard conditions for the EU integration, but at least is favoring it, whereas France’s Marine Le Pen has a clearly anti European speech and intends to bring power back to the countries.

France: the end of the laissez-faire

MADRID | The Corner | Remember when back in 2005, politicians in Paris stood up in arms amid rumours of Pepsi trying to bid for Danone? That operation never saw the light but from now France’s government will have more power to block foreign takeovers in strategic industries such as energy, transport and telecom. It’s a “necessary rearmement for the Government,” argues Economy and Industry minister Arnaud Montebourg, who stopped the Dailymotion acquisition and recently appeared in a national magazine wearing the iconic marinière T-shirt, a French brand watch and holding a Moulinex mixer. Economic patriotism that might be useful before the EU elections but can also hurt a state in need of foreign investment.



France does some ménage to reduce its deficit

OP-ED By Julia Pastor | France approved dramatic expenses cuts amounting €50 bn on Tuesday in order to limit the country’s public deficit, presumably to reach 3.8% of GDP in 2014. They did not touch, however, budget lines of education, justice and security, as well as protected pensioners under €1,2oo a month against cuts at least for a year. Spaniards wished their government had scrutinized cuts more carefully, or that Brussels had allowed to do so.

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France’s 19th Century Foreign Policy Fails in 2014

President Francois Hollande faces the question of whether Paris should have intervened in the CAR, where a significant percentage of the country’s citizens view France’s intervention as a form of 21st century neo-colonialism. France was clearly naïve to believe that deploying fewer than 2,000 troops to a destabilized nation bordering on anarchy and awash with arms would restore stability.

To Fulfill New Year’s Wishes, France Needs to Boost Revenues

MADRID | By Julia Pastor | France just started to go through its new year’s checklist. President Hollande announced last week budgetary cuts of €50 billion for 2015-2017, in addition to those €15bn revealed in September. The country urgently needs to increase revenues and it could do it via the sale of state-owned companies stakes such as a French and European reference like Airbus.